'Change the System' features projects by designers who want to change the world, either step by step or in one big gesture. With work by more than fifty designers and artists, the exhibition gives a vision of contemporary design’s potency for change: can we rid the oceans of plastic, create a world without plastic, use graphic design to clarify and sharpen social debate?
'Change the System' is spread across eight galleries and brings together the work of some fifty designers and artists from the Netherlands and abroad. It showcases their solutions for global problems such as pollution, conflicts, scarcity of raw materials and political tensions. Alongside existing projects, in the exhibition some of the designers will develop new works or carry out experiments with the active participation of the public. Some designers will create temporary production sites in the museum, where they will make things together with the public. Other experiments are focused more on creating a momentum or a community.
Scarcity, conflict and plurality
Curator Annemartine van Kesteren: “I believe that creativity is a powerful means to address the big questions of the moment. Contemporary design can inspire, initiate change or set a transfiguration of ideas in motion. Change the System gives a current overview of groundbreaking work of designers that relate to social current topics such as scarcity, conflict and unanimity. Change the System does not only exhibit highlights from contemporary design. In five Labs designers develop new work or conduct experiments where they actively involve the visitors.”
Designers such as Eric Klarenbeek, Iris van Herpen, Jólan van der Wiel, Dave Hakkens and Christien Meindertsma are connected to the three current themes scarcity, conflict and plurality.
Designers in the exhibition
Annelys de Vet, Ari Versluis, Ellie Uytenbroek, Arne Hendrik, Atelier NL, Babs Haenen, Bas van Beek, Bas van Abel, Bastiaan de Nennie, Bertjan Pot, Boyan Slat, Chris Kabel, Children of the Light, Christien Meindertsma, Dave Hakkens, David Jablonowski, Dunne & Raby, Dirk Vander Kooij, Elisa van Joolen, Eric Klarenbeek, Forensic Architecture, Gavin Munro, Formafantasma, G-Star Raw, Guido Geelen, Helmut Smits, Iris van Herpen, James Bridle, Jeroen Wand, Jing He, Jolan van der Wiel, Koehorst n ’t Veld, Lex Pott, Maison Margiela, Malkit Shoshan, Manon van Hoeckel, Marjan van Aubel, Marnix de Nijs, Massoud Hassani, Mathieu Lehanneur, Melle Smets, Metahaven, Into the nightshop, Olivier van Herpt, Pauline van Dongen, Ruben Pater, Sabine Marcelis, Sander Wassink, Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Simone Post, Sruli Recht, Studio Wieki Somers, Studio WM, Thomas Thwaites, Tjeerd Veenhoven, Vetements, Viktor&Rolf, We Make Carpets, Yi-Fei Chen.
Challenge 1: Turning waste into new products - Dave Hakkens (14 October - 5 November)
'Change the System' is an exhibition about the creative spirit’s potential for change. The designers in the exhibition present modest solutions for today’s big problems. To change the system, everyone’s input is required. That incudes you! The designers challenge you to contemplate and respond to their projects via the Change Challenge.
Do you want to take part?
We invite you to respond to the projects in the exhibition via social media. Share your reaction with a photo or video on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ChangeTheSystem and tag @boijmans. Between October 2017 and January 2018, the following designers will challenge you to respond: Dave Hakkens, Elisa van Joolen, Manon van Hoeckel and Arne Hendriks. Keep an eye on the museum’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts in the coming months.
‘An important component of Change the System is that the designers will actively involve the public. After all, to change the system, we need everyone’s participation. Dave Hakkens has created a DIY recycling centre in the museum’s central courtyard. He invites visitors to bring their plastic waste to the museum, where his Precious Plastic Machines will transform it into something beautiful. His project shows that plastic can be a valuable material if we treat it properly.’
Curator Annemartine van Kesteren
Change the Food System
In partnership with six students from the Food Quality and Design Group at Wageningen University and Research Centre, the catering team at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has worked hard over the past few months on this 'Change the System' menu, which contains only plant-based dishes. We have created the dishes according to the following principles: providing delicious and nutritious food while minimising our water footprint and carbon footprint and waste plus the use of local and season products in The Netherlands. Are people ready to change their eating patterns? We think you’ll be surprised. Enjoy and taste the Change!
You can follow our progress in our attempt to minimise our water footprint and carbon footprint as much as possible via social media. Let’s Change the System! We appreciate it very much if you share your plant-based dishes and visit to the exhibition ‘Change the System’ on social media with #ChangetheSystem and tag us (@boijmans). Thank you for your participation in this experiment.
A new generation of designers has emerged which thinks beyond designing products. Fascinated by the faults in our social system, production system and the ecosystem, they employ design to tackle the big problems of our time. Designers are uniquely equipped to visualise alternatives and to harness technological innovations to answer social needs. This shift in mentality conceals a creative revolution: the transformative power of contemporary design. This book brings together for the first time the work of more than fifty thinkers and inventors who have made a new engagement central to their work. Interviews with seven of them provide an insight into their thinking processes. This publication can be read as a manifesto for the creative spirit: the changemakers.